ESPN's coverage of the Women's World Cup final drew the most basic cable viewers last week, but iUSA Network remained the top network in primetime.
Team USA's thrilling loss to Japan this past Sunday drew 13.4 million viewers to top all basic cable shows in all major demos during the week of July 11 to July 17, according to a Turner Research analysis of Nielsen data.
ESPN's live telecast of the game, as well as its post event coverage, helped ESPN to a fifth place finish among all basic networks for the week, according to Nielsen.
USA finished in first place for the seventh consecutive week this summer, averaging 3.2 million viewers, followed by Disney Channel at 2.6 million. Strong ratings performances from History series Pawn Stars, American Restoration and American Pickers helped the network finish third for the week with an average of 2.5 million viewers, while the season debuts of TNT's detective series The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles helped pace the "drama" network to a fourth place finish with 2.4 million viewers.
Fox News (1.7 million); ABC Family (1.5 million); Syfy and FX (tied with 1.4 million); and A&E (1.3 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.
Nickelodeon was the most watched network on a 24-hour basis, averaging 2.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
Most Watched Cable Primetime Shows For The Week
7/17/2011 Japan/USA Women's World Cup ESPN 13.4 million
7/11/2011 Pawn Stars History 7.5 million
7/11/2011 The Closer TNT 7.2 million
7/11/2011 American Restoration History 6.7 million
7/11/2011 2011 Home Run Derby ESPN 6.6 million
7/11/2011 Rizzoli & Isles TNT 6.3 million
7/11/2011 American Pickers History 6.3 million
7/17/2011 World Cup Live ESPN 5.9 million
7/15/2011 Spongebob Squarepants NICK 5.7 million
7/14/2011 Burn Notice USA 5.3 million
Week of July 11 to July 17
Source:Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data